The Kansas City Royals always seem to be on the lookout for young talent to bring to the parent club. Whether by trades or their farm system, the team that will soon have the longest postseason drought in baseball once the Nationals clinch needs youth.
And knowing that about the Royals makes it seem odd that outfielder David Lough is just now getting his big-league break. But one thing is for sure. Lough is not wasting his opportunity.
Drafted out of Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA, Lough made a splash right away. At age 21, he batted .337 for the 2007 Burlington Royals in the Appalachian League.
By 2009, he was 23 years old and shooting up the system. He hit .320 with an .843 OPS for High-A Wilmington and made the transition the same year to Double-A, hitting .331 for Northwest Arkansas.
In 2010 the Kansas City Royals were one of the worst teams in the American League. All the while Lough was batting .280 and had double digit triple, home run and stolen base totals for Triple-A Omaha.
In 2011, with the Royals once again a 90-loss team, he hit .318 in Triple-A and had an OPS of .850. Still no call.
He did not get a promotion. Was he too short? He's under six feet tall. Did he not hit enough homers? Either way, he remained buried in Triple-A.
Ironically, Lough had his lowest average and OPS in Triple-A at age 26, and yet finally got the call. Perhaps it was his improved stolen base total, a career high 26, that put him over the top.
According to the Kansas City Star, he was "just ecstatic" to make it to the show. He is doing more than showing up. He is taking advantage of the opportunity.
He made his big-league debut on September 1 as the lead-off batter and starting right fielder. He singled on an 0-2 pitch in his first at bat. He would score that inning. Later he got his second hit and scored again.
In just five games, he already has three multi-hit games, going 7 for 25 overall and scoring five runs.
He needs to raise his walk total to justify being in the leadoff spot, but a .304 average is a nice start to a big-league chance.
For David Lough, you can understand why he would be a little impatient at the plate. It has been quite a wait to get this far.
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